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Hutchinson hits 2-8 and Mahony grabs 0-12 as Ballygunner power into Waterford hurling decider

Ballygunner stormed past Lismore and will chase seven-in-a-row of titles next weekend.

Shane O'Sullivan and Maurice Shanahan after the game.
Shane O'Sullivan and Maurice Shanahan after the game.
Image: James Crombie/INPHO

Ballygunner 2-25
Lismore 1-10

THE BALLYGUNNER GRIP on the Waterford hurling championship shows no sign of loosening. 

The reigning title holders, who have held that tag since the close of the 2014 campaign, powered into the 2020 decider this evening. They were 18 points clear of Lismore by the final whistle at the Fraher Field after a game where a couple of special scoring returns lit up their success.

Dessie Hutchinson finished with 2-8 to show for his efforts, all from play, and 2-7 of that tally was registered during an electric first-half showing. Outside him Pauric Mahony chalked up 0-12 in a commanding display. Those tallies sent Ballygunner surging clear on the scoreboard and were key ingredients in ensuring their unbeaten Waterford senior run now stretches to 37 games.

Lismore entered the game in bright form. They had chalked up eye-catching totals in the build-up to this match with 6-18 in their final group game against Dungarvan and then 3-22 in last week’s quarter-final victory over Abbeyside. But once Hutchinson cracked home an early goal, they were chasing this game and hopes of returning to the final for the first time since 2009 were fading.

players-compete-for-the-ball Ballygunner and Lismore players battling for possession. Source: James Crombie/INPHO

Hutchinson entered the game with a glowing reputation. He lived up to it early on, putting 1-3 on the board inside the opening ten minutes. 

The goal arrived five minutes in, Mikey Mahony had the vision to arrow in a pass to an unmarked Hutchinson, who did not waste the chance as he powered his shot home. Kevin Mahony laid on the second for him in the 22nd minute and Hutchinson lashed over a trio of points before the break to send in to the good by 2-13 to 1-6.

Jordan Shanahan had shown up well for Lismore with a few neat points while Paudie Prendergast got clear to rocket a goal past Stephen O’Keeffe. That left Lismore adrift by five points but before they could use it as a launchpad, Ballygunner had fashioned that second goal for Hutchinson.

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Ballygunner’s control was maintained in the second half. Mahony was the chief scoring architect during this time, his accuracy relentless from placed balls. They were ahead 2-18 to 1-10 at the second half water break and that margin had moved out to 18 points by the final whistle.

dan-shanahan-dejected-after-the-game A dejected Dan Shanahan after the game Source: James Crombie/INPHO

Maurice Shanahan grabbed a few points for Lismore, Dan joined him in attack at the finish yet there was little they could to quell Ballygunner’s influence.

Mount Sion meet Passage tomorrow in Walsh Park for the right to see who will have the challenge of trying to take down the champions next weekend. 

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About the author:

Fintan O'Toole

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